EARLSTON GP Ian Bond has a special reason to welcome advances in research into liver disease in children.
Six years ago, his son Euan was diagnosed with a rare and life-threatening tumour and required intensive surgery when he was just eight months old.
It was an anxious time for Ian and his wife Diane, who live in Melrose, though they recall with much gratitude the treatment Euan received at the BGH, the Sick Kids in Edinburgh and, ultimately, a specialist liver unit in Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
“We were also grateful to the support we received form the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation [CLDF] and realise that if it wasn’t for the pioneering research and development of new surgical techniques, Euan might not be here today,” said Diane this week.
Ian is happy to report that Euan is now thriving and happily settled at Melrose Primary with his older brother. “However, I am all too aware that there is still no cure for most childhood liver disease and each day in the UK two children are diagnosed,” he said.
“That is why it is so important to support the work of the CLDF, the only charity dedicated to stamping it out, and make a difference to the survival and quality of life of children with liver disease in the future.”
To that end, Ian and his brother David, who lives in Bonnyrigg, have been training hard ahead of attempting the Coast to Coast charity challenge from Nairn to Ballachulish south of Fort William this weekend.
They will run, cycle and kayak the 105 mile-route, taking in locations such as Loch Ness, the Great Glen and the Caledonian Canal.
“I think we’re on track fitness-wise although we could do with a bit of practice in the kayaking,” said Ian, 46.
“The main thing, though, is the fundraising. We set a goal of £500, but we’re at £1,200 already so we’ve upped the target to £1,500. We know it will be hard going but it will be worth it.”
Catherine Arkley, chief executive of CLDF, said: “We rely heavily on community fundraising, so we are thrilled Ian and David are supporting us in this way.”
To help Ian and David achieve their goal, visit www.justgiving.com/ian-bond.